One of my close friends, when asked if she would read my latest post, replied:
Not really sure I want to be enlightened in that way, but since I’m such a motherfucking glutton for punishment, I’ll read it. How does it make you feel to know that many of the things you say and write are punishing or cruel to other people?
My instinctual response is that I view pain somewhat akin to how a personal trainer would view it. Yes, there is bad pain but there is also pain that leads to growth as well and if it wasn’t at least a little bit painful, I don’t think I did my job right. But to be honest, I’d never really considered it all that closely before. It forced me to confront a world view I was somewhat alien to and, in the process, define my own world view a little more closely.
To me, pain is how you know you’re alive. Pain is thrilling because it’s transformational and without transformation, what else is there beside marking time? Pain is integrity, the prospect of pain is where you prove to yourself who you really are. Pain ties deeply into notions of masculinity and what it means to be a man. The masculine concepts of courage, cowardice, stoicism & loyalty all have to deal with reactions to pain and fear. This is not to justify this world view, merely to explain it.
A lot of my writing stems from these premises. It’s confrontational and brash and requires a bit of heavy lifting to get. Until now, I’d never thought it could be any other way. Part of the reason for me starting this blog is to find a community of like minded thinkers who view the world from that same lens of intellectual masochism. It’s been a frustrating process for me that I’ve been at this for almost a year with so little to show for it from that regard but I’m going to keep on plugging away at it.